Chip Kelly said he hasn't spoken to anyone, nor will he speak to anyone about the coaching vacancy at the University of Texas. (USA Today Images)
Unless he lied through his teeth, Chip Kelly promised Monday that he’s not taking any college job that he might be connected to through reports or speculation.
Kelly addressed the Sunday ESPN report that linked his name to the opening at the University of Texas. According to the report, Kelly is on the school’s list of prominent names to replace Mack Brown, who announced that he will resign after the Longhorns’ bowl game.
“I understand you have to ask the question, but I’m not involved in any jobs [that are vacant],” Kelly said in his weekly day-after-game press conference. “I’m the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and I’m going to prepare for the Bears. We’re going to prepare for the Cowboys after that. Hopefully, we have an opportunity to go to the playoffs and I plan to be here for a while.”
Earlier this year, Kelly’s name surfaced in reports that the University of Southern California would target him to replace the fired Lane Kiffin. Kelly had similarly downplayed those reports, too, and vowed that he planned to keep coaching the Eagles well beyond 2013. The school has since hired former Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.
Asked why his name is often linked to open college jobs, the former Oregon coach shrugged.
“I really don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t to talked to anybody. It’s just speculation. I havent spoken to anybody, nor will I speak to anybody.”
The Eagles hired Kelly on Jan. 16 to replace the fired Andy Reid, who coached the franchise for 14 seasons. Kelly initially turned down the job and returned to Oregon for a fifth season as head coach but eventually changed his mind.
The offseason before, Kelly spurned an offer from the Buccaneers and went back to Oregon, the school that he built into a national powerhouse.
The ESPN report said Kelly missed some elements of the college game, and Kelly was asked if he thought he’s still viewed as a college coach more than a head coach, even with his Eagles atop the NFC East at 8-6.
Kelly paused and joked: “I consider myself a pro coach eight times this year, and six times I haven’t.”